Governor Murphy Approves Package of Bills to Boost Housing Affordability in New Jersey
Governor Phil Murphy, in a landmark decision today, signed a three-bill package aimed at promoting housing affordability in New Jersey. This package aligns with the Murphy Administration’s sustained commitment to invest in housing initiatives and make New Jersey a more affordable place to live, work, and start a family.
Governor Murphy commented, “As we strive to make New Jersey more affordable for all, we must ensure we remove barriers that prevent people from becoming homeowners… I am proud to sign legislation that will not only expand opportunities for first-time homebuyers and those seeking affordable housing, but will further advance our state as the best place in the nation to raise a family.”
The three bills sanctioned today encompass:
1. A-5596/S-3991, which establishes the Urban Preservation Program within the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA). This program, backed by an $80 million investment from federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds allocated in the FY2024 budget, supports investments in rehabilitation and reconstruction projects aimed at preserving affordable housing in urban areas.
2. A-5595/S-4026, which expands specific State programmatic interventions related to residential foreclosures. Backed by a $15 million investment from ARP funds in the FY2024 budget, this bill endows the NJHMFA with an extended set of tools to intervene in foreclosures, keeping New Jerseyans in their homes and rehabilitating and reselling vacant properties.
3. A-5415/S-3780, which codifies and expands NJHMFA’s successful down payment assistance program, reflecting the Governor’s Wealth Disparity Task Force’s efforts to provide tangible benefits specifically for first-generation homebuyers. This bill also introduces the Resilient Home Construction Pilot Program in the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to fund developers to rehabilitate existing homes and construct new affordable houses for sale.
The signed bill package fortifies the Murphy Administration’s dedication to housing affordability, evident in its investment of over $1.3 billion in Affordable Rescue Plan (ARP) State Fiscal Recovery Fund (SFRF) dollars for housing in the past three years.
Earlier in the day, Governor Murphy endorsed the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, incorporating over $300 million for affordable housing initiatives, including those promoted by the newly signed housing bills. The funding will back the programs outlined in the affordable housing bill package.
“The three housing bills signed today provide breakthrough opportunities for citizens to establish roots and enrich communities in the great state of New Jersey,” stated Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who also serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.
She emphasized the impact of affordable housing on community enrichment, family stability, and economic vitality, recognizing its importance in the nation’s most densely populated state.